Plants – FOTD and Mother’s Day Basket

I found this Senecio rowleyanus/String of Pearls succulent, also known as String of Beads and the Rosary Plant, at a local garden shop this year. Nestled among trays of annuals, this odd looking plant immediately drew my eye. String of Pearl plants are easy to grow, as are most succulents. A hands-off approach is usually best for succulents, with infrequent watering and good drainage a must. More information on growing String of Pearls can be found on Gardening 101.

The succulent is a perfect fit for this bright parrot planter. The planter has held several plants, but none so well suited to it as the String of Pearls and its cascade of bright green beads. I also love the flower the plant produces, a small white orb with brilliant stamens. The String of Pearls blossom is my Flower of the Day.

I also wanted to say a grateful thank you to my son for the lovely New Guinea hanging basket he gave me for Mother’s Day.

Quick Tip – Tuesday Tip/Replacements

“If like many people, you are afraid to try roses in your garden, you need to try the revolutionary Knock Out® Family of Roses. The only rose that doesn’t need special care from you, these shrub roses will reward you with a season long show of blooms from spring to frost.”                                                                                           KnockoutRoses.Com

 

If you are like me you have some empty spots in your garden that could use a quick fix. There is still time to find amazing bargains as big box stores and garden nurseries slash prices to make room for Christmas trees and outdoor decor. This past weekend, I found Knockout Roses, an almost problem-free shrub rose, for less than 5.00 each. I bought four to plant in an area that needs many plants to fill it. The Knockout Roses should quickly grow and fill in the area with beautiful pink flowers. I was lucky to find the double bloom variety. The bonus is the roses I purchased still have some bloom and buds to enjoy through Autumn.

I also found a flat of succulent plants that I greatly admired in the Spring, but wasn’t willing to spend the asking price at that time. Oh the joy of finding bargains. This flat was a steal at under 4.00. I wonder how many projects and plantings I can squeeze out of it. I’ll post a few of my ideas through the next few weeks.

Problem-solving – Mealy Bug Infestation

While watering my succulents I noticed the dreaded white fluff of a Mealy Bug. Oh no. I have had experience with these pests in the past and know they can become a full-blown infestation. I wasted no time in treating the infested plant.

I like to use organic products and things I already have around the house. For Organic Mealy Bug Treatment Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol is a good choice. Using a Q-tip I touched the saturated tip to the back of the mealy bug. As I checked the plant I saw a few more of his family residing along the stems and treated them too. Further down there were more, oh no, it was beginning to look like an infestation, time for more drastic measures. I filled an atomizer with some of the alcohol and sprayed the entire plant. I left it on for a few moments and then washed all the foliage in tepid water. Most organic pest control sites recommend watering the alcohol down first, but for a hardy succulent, straight out the bottle did no harm. If I was treating one of my african violets I would definitely water the solution down before using.

I knew I had to check all the plants that were in the same room with the infested succulent, and sure enough, on one coleus I found the beginnings of more mealy bugs. Hopefully the intervention with rubbing alcohol has eradicated the problem.